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Meat-free rising and food waste waning – the major trends for 2017

Next year will see more innovation in plant-based products and menus as consumers continue to prioritise health and wellbeing, according to forecasts by experts at Mintel.

As well as an increase in alternatives to both milk and meat, the stigma associated with ugly fruit and vegetables will continue to fall as retailers and restaurants look at ways to limit waste in their supply chains.

These are just two of the six major food and drink trends that Mintel has identified for 2017, a year it said will be marked by “extremes” – from claims relating to “ancient” grains, recipes and practices to the use of new technology to create alternatives to major protein sources.

“This year’s trends are grounded in current consumer demands for healthy, convenient and trustworthy food and drink,” said Jenny Zegler Mintel’s global food and drink analyst.

The experts also expect to see more campaigns and new product development to make it easier for lower-income consumers to eat healthily. Consumer group Which? recently found that 28% of Scots find it difficult to eat healthily because they think it’s more expensive.

The trend for healthier eating and increased demand for salads and vegetarian dishes was also picked up in the latest menu Trends survey by Horizons. Vegetarian dishes now have twice the share they had in 2010.